Hinamatsuri: A festival to send well wishes to girls

Japan has many ways to celebrate the seasons and life. Hinamatsuri is held every March 3rd to wish for the well being of daughters.

The seasons have changed and I have been building anticipation for spring by following along with Japanese celebrations. The one that passed most recently was Hinamatsuri. It loosely translates to Doll’s Festival. The festival is to wish for the happiness and healthy development of the girls in the household. In homes across the country, displays of dolls were put up for this occasion.

It is a beautiful little celebration that happens the beginning of March, on the third, every year. A display of these dolls that mimic the old capital’s court, where there is even an Emperor and Empress. The display can be elaborate with entire court and treasures or, simply a little display with just the Emperor and Empress. Just by touching the dolls while setting up, it is believed that any illness and bad luck would then be transferred to the dolls instead.

During this time it is traditional to give candy to the little girls, Hishimochi is most traditional. It is a three-layered mochi. From the top there is pink which is said to expel evil spirits, white represents purity and, green represents wishes for good health. Some say that the Hishimochi layers actually represent the changes to spring. Sakura flowers are represented by pink, snow by the white and green is grass.

Japan has many ways to celebrate the seasons and life. Hinamatsuri is held every March 3rd to wish for the well being of daughters.
How does this celebration effect the tea world? If you were looking through your suggested photos on Instagram perhaps you saw some from Japan during this time. It was common to see various sweets to celebrate. You can see sweets for tea mimicking the two main characters in the dolls. From dry sweets such as higashi and even moist sweets like nerikiri. They are both beautiful and delicious.

One last point, these displays are only up till March third, that night it is taken down. It is thought that if the dolls are left out on March fourth that the girls would not marry, have misfortune in marriage prospects etc. This is because the number four is considered bad luck.

Even though this celebration is over, now is a great time to look for a doll display for next year. I am still looking for one and can not wait to show you. I have been wanting to have displays for all of the seasonal festivities in Japan and took the leap this year. Stay tuned for Hanami.

Why treating yourself is important self-care

Doing or giving something for yourself is a social taboo but it is a fundamental part of self care. When we do this it has a chain reaction which makes miracles happen around and within us. Check out other reasons why it is so important to everyday life.

     Life passes us by quickly early on in the year (or is it just me?), now is a perfect time to slow down and do something for yourself. It is not selfish, no matter what others say. Giving yourselves the chance to do or get something that just fills us with happiness should not feel bad. We beat ourselves up when we do things for ourselves because others see it as selfish when in reality it helps us through our days.

       It can be something small as sleeping in for a bit longer or even picking up a new book to read. No matter how big or small, it has meaning for our soul. We need to give ourselves something for just being us. A little self-love is something that is not taught, we need to learn how to do it ourselves. It is a simple step towards loving ourselves for who we are and respecting ourselves. Here are a few reasons why you need to remember to be more intentional about treating yourself.

Reminds yourself that you are valuable

There have been studies that say when we treat ourselves with respect, our health improves. Perhaps even you begin to make changes in your diet to fuel it with goodness (sadly chips and pop are not good for us). It makes you have more energy and others will notice that you have made a change.

Shows others you have self-worth

When you have self-worth others treat your better. It boils down to confidence, when we believe in ourselves others do too. But it does not stop there, their belief in you fuels you as well. It’s a never ending cycle, we return it and it flows back to us.

Fill yourself with joy

Happiness radiates out from the heart. Start by treating your soul to something and joy radiates out of you like a light. When we treat our bodies right and are treated how we deserve by those around us: it fills us with so much joy we can not help but share it.

Bring positivity your way

A funny thing happens when we treat ourselves with respect, love, and care. Not only do others change how they treat us but the universe sends us little things as well. Your world can change by changing your mindset. Your future partner can walk into your life, or you will find your direction for your career, make a connection which leads you to your dream job or anything. It can even be as small as finding a lost earring or meeting up with an old friend out of the blue. It can be big or small. Keep an eye out, be open to receive.

          You deserve respect and love but it all starts with yourself. Start small or do something big just for you. My two big things this year are going to Montreal with some friends and moving this blog and/or new laptop (I am using my brothers from 2010 which is like a brick). Those are my big “treats” but I regularly treat myself to sleeping in or cookies with my tea. What works for me may not work for you. Dig deep and decide what you need most.

          Do you know a friend who may need this post? Or did it resonate with you? Share it with your tribe, big virtual hugs to all that read this blog and an extra for those that share (sharing if caring of course). Blessings!

Digital Table: Tea Journey Manifesto for living the Tea Lifestyle

In this modern age we are in need of a Tea Journey Manifesto to guide our practice with tea and its lifestyle. Digital Table is about community and everyone coming together for a common cause through tea and the cultures, traditions and history that surrounds it.

     The tea world has been changing so much since I started this blog. Who could have guessed that Matcha and even Puerh would become popular in the health field? Consumers are only being told very few health possibilities, which leaves them extream expectations of the beverage. And even worse, not knowing how to prepare it or a bite of the historical/cultural significance. This change is worrying. Information is being diluted through the noise of online and shared to the extreme. For those of us, such as myself, who strive to honor the tradition, history, and culture of the beverage it causes anxiety.

     I work within the health and wellness field currently, and tea slowly has turned to its original roots as medicine. It gives a small glimmer of hope but still, there is more to learn. We each need to do our part to help turn the tides and direct those around us to the information they need, as a community. This is why I sought out to create a Manifesto. 

    No matter what stage you are at with tea this manifesto is for you. My intention and hopes are that it will guide you. Not only with tea but in life itself. Unlike other manifestos out there, this one was intentionally made imperfect. I am not a perfect person so why should this be any different.

In this modern age we are in need of a Tea Journey Manifesto to guide our practice with tea and its lifestyle. Digital Table is about community and everyone coming together for a common cause through tea and the cultures, traditions and history that surrounds it.

Even still it was created from the soul with a cup of tea in hand (Nomigoro Gyokuro from Maiko Tea to be exact). Tea is life which is a lifestyle in itself. We add it to our lives for health, curiosity, or even for spiritual reasons. And our lives change with the addition of it. That, in a nutshell, is your Tea Journey. It starts with picking up or tasting tea for the first time. And you continue to discover something not only new about tea but yourself and the world around you.

 

    I hope you will take this manifesto and hang it somewhere to remind yourself about your roots, or if you are just beginning to give yourself that reminder down the road. We all start at the beginning and continue on. We need to also return to that origin or beginning to progress further. That is what is taught in Japanese Tea Ceremony, and my hope is that you will apply it in your life right now (I also have a post on this topic coming out in March). 

Grab the Tea Journey Manifesto 

 Mine now hangs right next to my desk, very close to where I keep my tea set up while at my desk. Where will you keep yours?

Self-care gift guide for Valentines day for everyone

No matter what you call Feburary 14th, this is a gift guide for you. Love, Selfcare and things you can even just treat yourself to. Its all covered in this Valentines (GALentines, SIngle Awareness Day) Gift Guide.

    Valentines day.Galentines Day. Singles Day. No matter what you may call it it can be a good time for all if you have the right mindset from the start. The whole point is to show care for those we care about, but we also should show it to ourselves. As a single girl myself I love treating myself to something for this holiday, but when I was with a special someone I loved to give them something that I hoped they would buy for themselves for their own self-care (or they would get dinner made by me if money was tight). 


No matter what your status is this gift guide is for you. Cue up some romantic movies or series (Currently I am watching an assortment Korean Romance Dramas) and spend time reconnecting with yourself (and your loved ones).

No matter what you call Feburary 14th, this is a gift guide for you. Love, Selfcare and things you can even just treat yourself to. Its all covered in this Valentines (GALentines, SIngle Awareness Day) Gift Guide.

David’s Tea Matcha Maker Mint

Saje Aroma Gem 2.0

Lush Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb

Lush Love Spell Massage Bar

BYoga Everyday BMat – Ocean Green

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

Starbucks Tiny Hearts Cold Cup 16oz

Tea Ave Happy Cup and Saucer -Ocean

Citizen Tea Matcha Lover Set

Mala Collective Meditate Mala Teal Rudraksha

Sloane Tea Chocolate Truffle TIn

      Now its back to you, what are your plans this comming tuesday (Valentine’s Day, GALentines, Singles Awareness Day etc)? Shout it out in the comments below or share over Instagram/Twitter. Love you~

Tea Bath Salts DIY

Create a gift or use up your tea stash with this Tea Bath Salts DIY. A quick and easy self-care gift for your loved ones on Valentines Day or anytime.

     Regularly I get asked about small gift ideas, but when I know they are tea drinkers it is hard for me to suggest new things. Lately, I have been looking at new ways to use up our stashes beyond drinking them. This lead me to this simple DIY that doubles as humble handmade gifts.

      In this tutorial, I used a blend of herbals but you can easily use any tea. Add in some floral if you want it to be aromatherapeutic. I looked up herbals that are not only relaxing but also good for the skin for this blend. It got directly gifted to my Mom right after it was made to brighten her day. But you can just as easily give it as a Birthday gift, Valentines or any kind of occasion.

What you need

Tea (or herbals) 30-60g
4-5 cups Epson salts
20-25 drops of essential oil
Bowl
Measuring cup
Mixing spoon
Container for storage
Piece of paper or funnel

Create a gift or use up your tea stash with this Tea Bath Salts DIY. A quick and easy self-care gift for your loved ones on Valentines Day or anytime.

What you need to do

1. Add epson salts into the bowl, you may need more depending on the ratio you are looking for. As this was a gift for my Mom to relax with I wanted a decent ratio with a decent scent.

2. Now is the time to make it fancy. Add in your tea. If it is a longer leafed tea you may need to grind it up a bit or use a drain catcher for the bits. Most of all we want it to look pretty, this is why in my mix I have lavender and osmanthus. The third herb is lemon grass which is said to be good for skin. Decide what your focus is and go for it.

Create a gift or use up your tea stash with this Tea Bath Salts DIY. A quick and easy self-care gift for your loved ones on Valentines Day or anytime.

3. Mix it all up thoroughly, now add in your essential oil drops. For this blend to be a bit grounding (let’s be honest I wanted to use it while I read in the bath too) I added clary sage oil to the mix. Mix it once again.

4. Bring out your storage container and roll up your piece of paper for a funnel (or use the one you already have). Scoop your mix into the funnel to fill it up. If it’s a gift a simple ribbon around it will do.

Create a gift or use up your tea stash with this Tea Bath Salts DIY. A quick and easy self-care gift for your loved ones on Valentines Day or anytime.

Notes and Ideas

      Try out green tea, oolong or even black tea for this DIY, but if it’s a blend look up all the ingredients to make sure it will not cause a reaction to your skin. For example, my mom is allergic to ragweed which shares the same family as chamomile. For this reason, I avoided adding it to the blend out of consideration for this allergy.

No matter what, have fun while making this DIY. There are many possibilities just by changing the ingredients. If you discover a mix, share it in the comments or over Instagram/twitter. Sharing is caring.